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Posted 7 November 2020 at 7:00 am

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Residents easily duped by celebrity politicians with deep pockets, empty promises

Posted 10 January 2021 at 8:40 am


I cannot add much to Mr. Ballard’s eloquent and instructive response to the events of January, 6, 2021 except to say that as an American and a resident of Orleans County I am ashamed.

I have lived here my entire life and know enough to know that many of my neighbors consider themselves good, Christian folks. Yet, on houses throughout the county, houses belonging to these same self-styled Christian folk, there is hoisted the flag of a man. A vile, repugnant man who is antithetical to Christ’s message but held in higher regard. Our modern worship of power, punishment and celebrity is laid bare.

In many ways, it is understandable. Not much has been happening in Orleans County for a long time. Without expanding job opportunities, strong social organizations and the general belief that one can better one’s circumstance we are left feeling empty, powerless and hurt. When the physical body is hurt, it opens to infection. It follows then that our battered and beleaguered minds have succumb to the virus that is Donald Trump; that is Chris Collins; that is Chris Jacobs.

Each one of these men represents a great feat of cognitive dissonance: unfathomably rich persons who were overwhelmingly elected by one of the poorest constituencies in New York (#57 out of 62 in per capita income).

Now, I don’t know how many of you know or are friendly with a millionaire, much less a billionaire. But here’s something that’ll hold water: they don’t know about you, they don’t care about you and they can’t possibly understand what you’re going through. They’re in it for them. Period. The old saying goes, “you don’t get rich by giving away money.”  The natural extension of that euphemism is, “you get rich by separating fools from theirs.”

And here we are today, days after our Congress was attacked by domestic terrorists sporting every item from Donald Trump’s merchandise store (“…fools from theirs”). A few days after our Congressman Chris Jacobs voted with the Sedition Caucus in an effort to deny the legitimate votes of millions of Americans, our neighbors. What do we have to show for any of it? Shame is all any of us should rightfully have today.

If there is any hope for us to truly know a great America, we need to shut off cable news, delete all of our social media (especially Facebook), and take down those silly flags while opening up our minds and our hearts. And, as Peter the Apostle wrote (1 Peter 3:8), “all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”

Robert Shaw


Trump supporter denounces president for role in Capitol riot

Posted 8 January 2021 at 7:42 pm


Mr. President, I rallied for you. I voted for you twice. I have supported you through thick and thin. I have been an outspoken advocate of yours. You have been, by far, the best possible leader in these troubled times in spite of the unrelenting political opposition and media bashing.

Until now. Your many amazing accomplishments are now being overshadowed – and I believe rightly so. Please sit down and be quiet.

I do not place all the blame of the tragic event in Washington this past week at your feet. I do though hold you to account for your lack of action before, during, and post rioting. There is no excuse. You let our country down.

Was there fraud in the election? Yes. Was it so widespread that it changed the results? Who knows. I doubt if we ever will. That does not give you the right to let criminals invade our nation’s capital by NOT being absolutely clear that ANY violence or illegal act will not be tolerated. Honestly, Mr. President, you have done direct damage to our nation. Five dead. Numerous injuries. An historic invasion of our nation’s capital. I believe you could have prevented all of this.

Election reform is certainly needed, but that is a matter for another time.

The banter about impeachment with less than two weeks left in your administration is just that: political banter. I ask you again, no I PLEAD with you to sit down and be quiet. It was my hope that you would run again. This one week has made me question that hope.

Now that the left has control of all three branches their upcoming failures will undoubtedly be blamed on you every time. And you have given them even more ammo – especially when given the left’s propensity to exchange factual historic events for whatever negative view of America they wish to convey for that day. They will make sure yours is the face of January 6, 2021.

Let us, the people, deal with election reform. I thank you for your 3.99 years of an outstanding presidency. Now please sit down and be quiet.

And to those on the left, your calls for “working together” and “respect” fall on deaf ears. Your corrupt, disrespectful, false, and downright dangerous statements were for four years the only thing that we heard from you.

You accomplished nothing but delaying aid to the American people on three different occasions to further Nancy’s political fight with the right. Enjoy your temporary reign. I have absolutely no doubt that the extreme radical left will impose their will on more centrist Democrats resulting in a failing economy. Taxes and unemployment will rise. Inflation will follow. The asinine “Green New Deal” actually has a foothold now.

I’m certain this will precipitate Republicans making great gains in the elections 2 and 4 years from now.

In the meantime Mr. President, please sit down and be quiet.

Bob Harker


Employee at nursing home in Albion voices concerns about staffing

Posted 8 January 2021 at 5:30 pm


I am an employee with the Village of Orleans nursing home that past two years. It is having issues again, this time with staffing. Is this a reality in nursing? Sometimes yes. Sometimes from staff turnover, and other times from disasters like we had with Covid-19.

There were some poor choices coming from the top for sure but it was also something new that none of us were ready to deal with. In the end we lost a lot of people but were able to provide excellent end-of-life care, due to the staff who hadn’t quit or got Covid themselves, being unified with a common enemy and goal.

We also saved many of the residents there with consistent care and nourishment. Administration also played a part by eventually giving hazard pay and offering bonus/incentives to staff when staffing went to a critical level.

The staffing issue now has been artificially created by one thing: greed. We have filled the building with new admits, at times getting 5 in one day. For any business this is a good thing with dollars for people at the top.

But administration has repeatedly minimized or outright ignored concerns of nursing staff as the work load continues to expand, with no steps to up staffing, retain current staff, or incentivize staff so we don’t get overwhelmed or frustrated, then quit, as I have.

I’m not the first and I won’t be the last. I’ve talked with the current administrator and his boss. I voiced concerns of basic human needs not being met because of the rapid growth of admits with no way to buff up staffing.

What it comes down to is they pretend to be powerless, as anything that could make a difference has to go through the union, with examples being competitive wages or an attendance incentive or a temporary bonus for critical staffing levels. This could take months. Ask some of our residents when was the last time they were offered a shower. Can they wait until the union clears it?

On top of filling the place up, they have decided to take patients with a high level of care/needs. Example being someone with multiple wounds, on IV medications, poly-substance abuse, behaviors, etc. Everyone needs care, but if we are unable to provide the resources to care for the patients, why are we still taking them in? When I say resources, I mean nurses and aids, mostly!

The staff that remains from the Covid-19 outbreak remember all the extra effort and care we put in to keep who we could alive and healthy, and those we couldn’t, comfortable. Now the survivors are neglected.

I’m leaving The Villages and I don’t see any changes or urgency from anyone in administration with the actual power to do something – I’m asking for help from outside sources.

Name withheld

Conservative Party leader thanks Jacobs for opposing electoral certification

Posted 8 January 2021 at 5:16 pm


I want to thank Congressman Chris Jacobs for standing up for the Constitution, the constitutional process and for standing up for our President. That is what the citizens of Orleans County and the 27th district sent you to do.

Never apologize. Never surrender to the anti-American hypocritical left. Do not pay attention the rabid leftist werewolves barking at their own reflections.

They stole 3 elections and they still are not happy. (Have you ever seen a happy leftist?) I am proud that I cast my vote for you. I look forward to you fighting the leftists every step of the way in the halls of Congress.

Paul Lauricella


Orleans County Conservative Party Chairman

Jacobs postured to Trump supporters in opposing Biden’s electoral certification

Posted 8 January 2021 at 11:53 am


Dawn on Wednesday brought historic news that a Black man and a Jewish man were elected as senators in the south. The place was Georgia, the last of the Confederate slave states to return to the Union. It seemed like our country had come full circle.

An afternoon ceremony, usually a half-hour formality, included added political posturing. Our WNY Congressman Chris Jacobs, jumped onto the Trump wagon, sided with the mini-Trumps of the future and mob of terrorists and voted No to certify Biden’s presidential election. The stunt blew up their faces! Each deserves to wear a scarlet “S” as a seditionist.

Violence was incited by the President of the U.S. domestic terrorists disrespectfully desecrated our U.S. Capitol, the heart of our democracy. How did they get into the Capitol with so little resistance? Were they told to stand down? Why were these white men not treated as criminals or as black men would be treated?

A Confederate battle flag actually inside the U.S. Capitol was historical. This has never happened before, never during the Confederacy, never during the Civil War, never during reconstruction, never during the Civil Rights Act or First Ku Klux Klan Act of 1870, never during re-emergence of the KKK in the 1920s, not even as modern display began use as a response to the civil rights movement of 50s and 60s. January 6, 2021 domestic terrorists brazenly, historically, carried the Confederate Flag into our U.S. Capitol, the heart of our democracy.

On the news Thursday night, a day after the insurrection, Trump loyalist Jacobs said, “Yesterday was an American day we came together and got the job done.” I hope that he meant that the job was the acceptance of the Biden presidency. Jacobs’ statement was not enough for me.

Americans have finally woken up. We the people need to speak up. Call out officials as well as ordinary citizens to answer to the law. Our democracy is about us. The Buffalo News article “The Coward” is about “candy man” Jacobs; resign now.

Carol Nochajski


Politicians refused to speak out as country became dangerously divided

Posted 8 January 2021 at 10:29 am


Regarding the tragedy on display in our nation’s capital on January 6th, State Senator Robert Ortt (as well as others) declared, “This is not who we are!”

Really? With all due respect, sir, this is exactly who we are. This is exactly who and what we’ve become. Otherwise, why did it happen?

Our country began to dangerously splinter four years ago; some misguided politicians – obviously, such as yourself and election objector, Chris Jacobs – never noticed it or cared. It was right under your noses. Your failure to let it go unchecked is stunning beyond comprehension.

The shameful act of letting something of this magnitude fester, will go down in history as a reminder to those contemplating a run for office, to prepare themselves better … with eyes to see, a spine to stand up and a voice to be heard.

Tom Valley


Jacobs casts doubt on election results despite no evidence of fraud

Posted 7 January 2021 at 6:44 pm


Congressman Chris Jacobs stated there were voting irregularities in other states and that is the reason why he objects to certification of Joe Biden. Where is his data to support this? Christopher Krebs, President Trump’s director of Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, stated: “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” President Trump’s Attorney General William Barr stated: “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”

In a Pennsylvania court house President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, stated “This is not a fraud case.” In court case after court case, no evidence was presented, none. Period.

Mr. Jacobs and his ilk can lie to the media and to their constituents all day long because there is no penalty, but when they have to back up those lies with facts in court they reveal that the fraud doesn’t exist.

The insurrection on Jan. 6th was the end result of the endless stream of lies and conspiracy theories – not supported by any facts – that Mr. Jacobs has promulgated to support Mr. Trump over our Constitution.

The public distrust in the election is created, whole cloth, out of thin air by Radical Republicans, like Mr. Jacobs to suppress votes he doesn’t like. This is anti-democratic. Mr. Jacobs, you should resign as your actions demonstrate that you do not support and in fact attacked the Constitution of the United States, that you took an oath to defend and protect.

William Fine


After failure of Trumpism, take back our nation from right-wing thugs

Posted 7 January 2021 at 2:35 pm


I am fully prepared to observe the flood of responses in support of the right-wing domestic terrorists who besieged the U.S. Capitol yesterday. Many Americans should not be surprised that the party of “Law & Order” is in support of brutal and militant police suppression only when it targets non-whites. Yet the right to unlawfully ransack our nation’s most sacred institutions is acceptable when their white privilege is under attack.

Today, social media is abound with posts echoing the statement, “This is not America, this is not who we are.” Yet, it is who we are. A long history of otherism, of targeted and intentional violence against one another. The savagery witnessed yesterday is as American as apple pie.

A political cartoon entitled “Arguments of the Chivalry” depicts Preston Brooks’ 1856 caning of abolitionist Charles Sumner on the floor of the U.S. Senate Chamber. Having delivered a fiery anti-slavery speech just two days earlier, Brooks took to physical violence in retaliation. The cartoon is adorned with Henry Ward Beecher’s quote, “The symbol of the North is the pen; the symbol of the South is the bludgeon.”

As Americans, we have witnessed a proverbial time warp to the 1850s where moral arguments are met with physical hostility. The Party of Lincoln has reaffirmed that they have more in common with the antebellum Democratic Party. This historical callback was reflected in an image of a Confederate flag-toting hooligan standing in front of Sumner’s portrait in the Capitol.

If history has taught us anything, it is that the type of aggression experienced yesterday cannot be met with calls to simply “turn the page,” or “move on from these events.” The path towards unrestricted and oft encouraged physical violence against others is more reminiscent of Reconstruction than of a nation that, according to the right, is not struggling with systemic racism. A period of time in which the Ku Klux Klan ran rampant throughout the South and ex-Confederates dictated post-war politics. We can no longer exist as a nation without repercussions.

We watched as law enforcement officials opened the gates to seditionists who scaled walls, broke glass, and climbed through windows. Months earlier, fully militarized police launched tear gas and unleashed batons on protesters around the White House (while the President cowered in his basement bunker).

Last evening, before he was rightfully suspended from Twitter for twelve hours, our “President” told these seditionists and self-proclaimed “Patriots” to “Go home. We love you, you’re very special.” I suppose we should not be surprised by such comments from the man who suggested that there were “very fine people on both sides” at Charlottesville, or who told his proud boy militia to “stand by.”

As Mitt Romney said so eloquently last evening, “No Congressional audit is every going to convince these voters, particularly when the President will continue to say that the election was stolen.”

We have fully witnessed what “Make America Great Again” really means. It was never about the 401k’s and always about the white supremacy. Those present in Washington, D.C. are not patriots, they are thugs covered in the stench of Trumpism.

The Democratic Party needs to prepare to govern with mandate. Georgia delivered the Senate and it is time to take back our nation.

Matthew Ballard

Statesville, NC (formerly of Albion)

Police treated Trump supporters who stormed Capitol differently than BLM protestors

Posted 7 January 2021 at 12:48 pm


Imagine if yesterday’s protests (riots) in Washington, D.C. had been BLM, LGBTQ, or Muslim citizens protesting a proposed travel ban? Rest assured that no security police would be holding the doors while patting them on the backs as they rushed in to seize the Congress of our democracy.

Further, I can guarantee that there would be no smashing of windows, no plundering of government and public property or the looting of historical artifacts. Nor would there be long guns hailed among the portraits of our Founders, no profane screaming in the rotunda or even posing for a selfie in Nancy Pelosi’s office.

How do I know? Because there would be a river of American blood flowing down the Capitol steps instead.

I guess one man’s thug is another man’s patriot.

Gotta love those Trump conservative values.

Tom Graham – Albion High School ’78


Capitol insurrection shows Trump cult run amok

Posted 7 January 2021 at 8:36 am


The president invited a mob of neo-nationalists to go to the Capital and stop the certification of electors. He retired to what used to be the famous Rose Garden and by video encouraged them generally as “his type of people.” Sure they were.

They have been talking about take over for decades; finally they had a President who would use them to hold power.

This coup attempt was quickly suppressed. I have thought for a while that short of war if Trump fought leaving no holds barred that he could hurt himself and set the stage for his own demise.  He would have to cross a line in people’s minds for which they finally could not forgive him.

Until this day all was being structured and postured as a cover story for Trump to perpetuate his lies. I was not encouraged. It is hard to expect people to read and understand all the cases demonstrating Trump is, pure and simple, a uniquely unsuccessful shill.

But Trump stopped hiding behind lies and blew the start whistle for the “proud boy”, militia, KKK types.

They invaded the Capitol. The number of crimes committed is legion – guns used to stop our Congress is traitorous insurrection. And Congress agrees.

Now I want to assess if the criminality of thinking and the nationalists acting on Trump’s lies will sink in. Clearly everyone involved in the Capitol invasion needs to be held out as examples of a cult run amok. It was and is their smoke screen.

Trump-appointed US attorneys around the country promise they will hunt them down. So maybe Trump has finally gone too far with honest people now that he has proved he is just another power-hungry domestic terrorist.

Maybe seeing this we can come together. (Then again one nut sent me a doctored video from  OAN – Trump’s new favorite channel.)

But real Americans do not give in to foreign propaganda and do not throw in with white nationalists. We dig in, do the right and legal thing, and win. Jan. 6 reminded us of that and why laws and legal traditions are the cornerstone we do not mess with.

It’s time to come back to our senses.

Conrad F. Cropsey


Jacobs is right to want answers in presidential election

Posted 7 January 2021 at 8:28 am


Several answers to questions could provide clarity to the 2020 elections. A 10-day audit would answer some of these concerns that Republicans, like Congressman Jacobs, have.

Why would your party remove poll watchers if everything is above board? If there is nothing to hide why remove them? Why do certain states have a large amount over votes? Why wasn’t the constitution followed regarding changing of election laws?

Why relax standards regarding signature matches? What is the exact reasoning behind that move? Explain the reasoning behind scanning the same ballets multiple times?

There could be logical explanations behind all of these. The be quiet and accept the results as your letter states is certainly not going to change anyone’s electoral concerns.

Edward Urbanik


Democratic leaders in 27th District condemn Jacobs for opposing electoral certification

Posted 6 January 2021 at 6:54 pm


The verdict of the American people is clear and resounding: Joe Biden will be our president, and Kamala Harris will be our Vice President.

Every single state has certified their results, and no court has found any of those certifications invalid. Despite repeated Republican accusations of fraud, Republicans have been unable to produce an iota of evidence to support, much less prove, their accusations.

Despite that failure, several Republican members of the House and Senate have tried to interfere today with the counting of electoral votes, a ceremonial ritual, today.

Yesterday Rep. Chris Jacobs (NY 27) dodged repeated questions from press and constituents about what he planned to do in the House today. Since his votes will be publicly recorded within hours, though, Chris Jacobs has finally revealed his intentions.

Shamefully, he is standing with those who would overturn the will of the American voters and the voters of New York. Rather than standing for democracy, he has aligned himself with the demagogues who refuse to accept their loss and are inciting violence.

We, the county Democratic Chairpersons of New York’s 27th Congressional District, condemn Congressman Jacobs’ decision in the strongest possible terms. No one who refuses to accept election results deserves to hold elective office. Once again, the Representative of NY 27 is bringing shame upon the people of this district.

Jeremy Zellner

Chair, Erie County Democratic Committee

John Jacoby

Chair, Niagara County Democratic Committee

Jeff Lewis

Chair, Orleans County Democratic Committee

Michael Plitt

Chair, Genesee County Democratic Committee

Cynthia Appleton

Chair, Wyoming County Democratic Committee

Judith Hunter

Chair, Livingston County Democratic Committee

Zach King

Chair, Monroe County Democratic Committee

John Hurley

Chair, Ontario County Democratic Committee

Developer premature because new state siting process not in place for large energy projects

Posted 1 January 2021 at 11:40 am


Barre residents, do not be fooled. The Apex informational online presentation was a mere draft of what might come!

Cuomo shut the state down and that includes the courts, which has resulted in the halt of this 94-C formation. Governor Cuomo has New York State in the red financially and it will take money to establish new departments.

Per Citizens for a Better Barre’s attorney: You should know that the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) does not really exist, as it is comprised in its entirety of one man: Houtan Moaveni. He holds the title “Executive Deputy Director” of ORES, but Moaveni works for the Public Service Commission on Article 10 matters. ORES is supposed to be located at the Department of State, but Moaveni has still no office there.

Moaveni has issued a solicitation for technical staff, as it appears he has none of his own. He’s using DPS.

Heritage Wind will need to explain what happens if ORES does not get off the ground for a year or so.

Alexander Nacca


Hawley says communities showed resilience in 2020, poised for much better 2021

Posted 30 December 2020 at 4:11 pm


With all the negativity and anxiety that has run rampant through the public consciousness in the last year, as we move into 2021, I think we should look back at 2020 and take pride in the strength we showed as a people.

In a matter of months our lives were flipped upside down, as everybody from young children to the elderly had to adapt to the unthinkable circumstances we live with today.

From getting used to mask-wearing, bearing with new technologies, and learning to go with less physical contact from the people we love, we have all done our part to face this unprecedented challenge to both our public health and economic well-being.

As the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine continues to accelerate in the months to come, I hope we can look to the future with hope and look back at these times in the same way we look at the sacrifices made by our greatest generation during World War II, as people changed the way they live for the sake of their neighbors and their country.

What I would like in 2021 is to see the ability to adapt to changing circumstances displayed by the people of our state emulated within our state government. Just as families throughout the state learned to tighten their budgets and focus on what’s truly essential in this period of hardship, our State Legislature should also look at cutting out spending we don’t need and focusing on what’s really important.

Wasteful spending on things like tax breaks for movie studios and extra political advisors for our Governor is unconscionable in a time when more small businesses and restaurants are being forced to close their doors by the day.

This holiday season and throughout the year families looked within their own communities as they purchased gifts and necessities, and just as the people of our state have gone out of their way to support their local institutions, we should act as a state to support our small businesses, small landlords and restaurants that have endured a massive drop in revenue during the pandemic.

We should be talking with local stakeholders in these industries and talk about how they can do more, not less, business in our state, and what we can do to support their success in terms of both fiscal and regulatory policy.

When small businesses succeed, families prosper, and in 2021 I want to bring the voices of small business owners to the forefront of our conversations in Albany, as they know better than anybody what needs to be done to help them grow and thrive.

2021 might end up being the best year we’ve seen in a long time, but only if the Legislature learns from its mistakes and acts with the same toughness and adaptability the people of our state have.

New Yorkers deserve a government as tough and as compassionate as they’ve been throughout this year, and I am hopeful that if the Legislature gets smarter with spending and listens more to people affected by the policies they create, that 2021 will be the dawn of a new and brighter day for our state. With that said, I wish a happy and healthy New Year to all of my friends and neighbors!

Assemblyman Steve Hawley


Poetic verses can’t elevate a failed president

Posted 24 December 2020 at 11:42 am


You tell ‘em “Tiger Blood”! So much local talent coming from such a small place.

Personally, I believe that Donald Trump’s epic rendition of Oscar Brown’s poetic allegory is much more apropos:

“Oh shut up, silly voters,” Trump read with a grin. “You knew I’m a snake before you voted me in.”

Donald Trump became a failed President for one simple reason. Long before that he was a failed man. Fortunately for America many (including myself) woke up to that fact in time for 2020.

Merry Christmas to all, and your New Year be bright.

Tom Graham – Albion High School ’78